Daniel 4:16 “He was able, for the Spirit of the Holy God was in him…”
The worldwide Corona Virus pandemic has begun spreading rapidly in America. The first reported case was on January 21 in Washington State. One month later, the number of confirmed cases had grown to 70, and could be linked to overseas travel. As of this week, which is two months since the first reported case, the number of known cases has passed 1,000. This is known as exponential growth. Experts tie this to a very contagious, microscopic animal that is easily transmittable when people are in close contact to each other, and which as of today we have no clear vaccine to stop.
The virus is now found throughout our country. Massachusetts announced over 20 new cases. There are only about 10 states left who have not announced any cases. There have been over 30 deaths across America linked to Corona Virus. What is the message from our experts to avoid infection?
Dr. Deborah Birx, President Trump’s Corona Virus Task Force Coordinator, especially appealed this past Wednesday to America’s millennial generation to stop socializing in groups, as this is known to be the primary method of the exponential spread of this animal. She had another reason to target her message to younger people beside being socially distant from one another. She also shared the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) report that 20 percent of the hospitalized patients and 12 percent of the intensive care patients were between the ages of 20 and 44 – millennials.
Our social media outlets are exploding with three different attitudes towards this pandemic. Some people remain in denial, claiming the virus is less lethal than the common flu. Others are in full panic mode, as State and Local authorities, local businesses and churches start various levels of social distancing. Then we have the Christian response, encouraging people to more than ever trust in the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. This third attitude is the most practical, and critical, attitude that will aid us in these uncertain times.
Last week, we began our study in the character of Daniel to see how he focused on Jesus Christ in his daily walk. We specifically studied 3 critical aspects of Daniel’s character, as explained by Pastor Charles Spurgeon in his famous 1873 sermon. Those 3 character traits that led the Lord to tell Daniel he was “greatly beloved” were: 1) his nonconformity to the world, 2) his courageous trust in the Lord, and 3) his resolve under trial. Daniel, from a young man until his old age, was deeply committed to following Christ.
During our own Corona Virus trial, we can all gain tremendous strength in remembering who we are as Christians – who we are in Jesus Christ – by taking some time to study Daniel and strive to follow his example. Spurgeon has two more of Daniel’s character traits he also wants us to study, and these last two come at the perfect time as we all pray for our nation and one another. Here are Spurgeon’s words.
Character Truth #4: Daniel’s continuous devotion. “Power in prayer is one of the most divine of the Lord’s gracious gifts. Three times a day he cried to his God. Three weeks we find him spending in prayer and fasting. The top of his house witnessed to his regular devotions, but his special pleadings were by the lonely willows of the brook, and there he cried and wrestled with his God. if the man lives in the spirit of prayer, if he delights himself in prayer, and if year after year prayer has not become a monotony to him, if it is real to him… if God privileges him to become mighty in prayer, then he is a man greatly beloved.”
Character Truth #5: Daniel’s consistent character. “Daniel seems to be as nearly as possible a perfect character… here was a man rendered by grace so upright and so correct in all that he did, that nothing could be, even by his enemies, brought against him, except concerning his religion.”
Now each of us should examine ourselves in the light of Daniel. During this pandemic, are we in prayer continually? Are we consistent in our responses? Do we have courageous trust in Jesus Christ?
As our verse this week from Daniel explains, Daniel was able to live out an incredible witness for our Lord because he was indwelt by the Lord Himself: “Daniel was able, for the Spirit of the Holy God was in him…”.
Daniel had a deep, vibrant, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This same relationship is available to all during this pandemic. Don’t take my word for it – take His: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him WILL NOT PERISH but WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE” (John 3:16). Corona Virus cannot negate the promise of Jesus Christ. You only need to trust Him.
The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #390